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Frank Turner will be setting off to Sierra Leone, along with The Joe Strummer Foundation, to visit an organisation that has been helping change the lives of street youth in Freetown, Sierra Leone since 2008. Payout Arts have been principle in helping to change the lives of street youth and disadvantaged young men and women through the medium of film and music.
This visit will be fully funded by The Joe Strummer Foundation, who have been supporting the work of WAYout Arts since 2012. Jamie Webb, charity coordinator says, ”We are honoured that our friend, and long term supporter, Frank Turner will
be joining us to highlight the work that both our organisations do and to document what it is really like to be a musician in Freetown.”
Since the end of the civil war in 2002 Sierra Leone has experienced economic growth but poverty remains a major challenge particularly for the country’s youth. There is a need for a safe location for street youth to overcome the fear and
misunderstanding they face: escape dangers of street life such as drugs and crime; with easy-to-access projects which help overcome their vulnerability and decrease risks of persecution, exploitation.
Responding to a call for support in 2012 from Hazel Chandler, WAYout Arts co-founder, The Joe Strummer Foundation helped install a music recording studio in Freetown. A campaign was created to raise funds to buy studio equipment,
instruments and send engineer and multi-instrumentalist, James Adams, over to set up & train the members of WAYout to create their own recordings and maintain the studio.
We will document Frank’s journey into some of the poorest communities and we hope will lessen their sense of being forgotten by the world and offer the possibility of learning through music. “I’m honoured and humbled to be heading
to Sierra Leone for the first time with the Joe Strummer Foundation. After all the fundraising work that has happened over the last few years, it’ll be fascinating to see where the money is going and who it’s helping. Seeing music cross
international and cultural boundaries is one of the most validating things in the world for a musician. I’m excited for my trip. – Frank Turner
Almost all young people want to make music, it is an international language, and Franks visit will open up the possibility in their minds and lead them to WAYout – a place they may not know about.
“Everyone at WAYout is very excited at the prospect of Frank Turner coming to Sierra Leone. Frank will go to Kissi Town, an old refugee camp, Ferry Junction and Susan’s Bay to play with street and disadvantaged youth and encourage them to
pick up instruments and learn to play and then register at WAYout to do music.” – Hazel Chandler, WAYout Arts.
The Joe Strummer Foundation are organising a fundraising campaign ahead of the trip to raise funds to purchase replacement instruments and worn out studio equipment in order to ship mid-April. To find out more about the fundraising
campaign and ways that you can get involved – by monetary donation or social media amplification – we encourage you to visit the official fundraising page: https://chuffed.org/project/frank-turner-and-joe-strummer-foundation-sierra-leone